04-04-2021 / Health and Fitness

How can I avoid getting the Flu (Influenza)

Flu is known for its ability to easily getting transferred from one person to another. The factor of risk involved concerning its transmission is significantly higher as compared to other common diseases. Here are few tips to avoid getting the flu.

How can I avoid getting the Flu (Influenza)
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content

Introduction

  • Changing weather and climatic conditions around us is a frequent natural phenomenon. These processes may seem exciting and beautiful to us as each new weather brings new joy. Each weather has its unique characteristics, which later prove to be either good or bad for different people. The humans of this era are very much prone to catch several kinds of diseases due to the transition in natural conditions. The degree of its effect varies from person to person and can even go from normal to severe. Influenza, which is widely termed flu, is the most common condition that affects the body's respiratory mechanism. We need to develop an understanding of various dimensions of influenza by studying it thoroughly.

  • Flu is known for its ability to easily get transferred from one person to another. The factor of risk involved concerning its transmission is significantly higher as compared to other common diseases. Influenza or flu can be described as a virus that affects the respiratory tract of the human body. It can be transferred easily via body fluids, coughing, sneezing, etc. This respiratory disease is just an umbrella term as it comprises various viruses that are transferred among people. Flu can also be at a huge level, and sometimes its outbreak can affect the whole community, state, or even a country. Its effect on the human body differs from individual to individual, and so does its duration. The average time that a human body generally suffers from it is 5 to 7 days, but in several cases, people face the effects of influenza for more than a week. Let us talk about the reasons for getting influenza in the first place so that we get a clearer picture. Here is a graphical representation showing the impact of different types of flu in India:

types of Flu in India
  • The body organs/parts related to human respiration are the ones that get affected by influenza. The areas that get affected by influenza primarily include the throat, lungs, and nose. The droplets transferred via cough and sneeze cause influenza in the other person as well. Another reason for its cause is the transfer of viruses through the air, which people relate to the changing climate. When an affected person coughs or sneezes, that results in the droplets staying on a tangible thing. Later, when another person touches that surface, there are great chances that the person also gets influenza via his/her mouth, eyes, or nose.

  • Now the question is that if a person is affected by influenza, then how could he/she be assured of that fact. The simple answer to this question is that the person can only get influenza after knowing about some common symptoms.

4 Common Symptoms of Flu

Following are some of the widely-known symptoms of influenza/flu:

1. Fever

When a person catches influenza, he/she is prone to get a fever. The temperature may vary from person to person and also depends on the intensity of influenza. Regularly check the temperature and take measures to keep it under control.

2. Headache

It is one of the most common flu symptoms, which indicates the possibility of influenza in the human body. In the case of the flu, the person experiences headaches and irritation. In most cases, a headache occurs during the initial days of influenza but is undoubtedly a well-known indicator.

3. Tiredness

Tiredness or aching muscles are common among people who are affected by influenza. However, tiredness is a widespread symptom of various diseases but can be greatly seen among flu patients.

4. Cough

If a person is experiencing uncontrollable coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose, then he/she may be affected by influenza, as these are some common symptoms. People with the flu widely experience dry cough.

Flu Symptoms

These are some of the common symptoms of influenza or flu. Still, it is a matter of wonder that these symptoms are prevalent, and one may find it challenging to differentiate among different diseases based on these symptoms. Many people find such symptoms vague and get confused with these as they coincide with various other diseases/infections. But to differentiate appropriately, we must know that if these symptoms occur rapidly, there are high chances that he/she is affected by influenza. The degree of intensity is also higher in the case of influenza.

As we have significant information about the symptoms and reasons that cause influenza, we now have to emphasize how this spread can be contained. There are many ways people can look after themselves and include certain quality habits in their daily regime.

3 Ways to avoid getting the Flu

Here are some of the steps and acts that will help you to stay away from influenza to a very large extent:

1. Personal Hygiene

  • Hygiene is a very vast terminology. It comprises various measures ranging from external cleanliness to internal safety. Personal Hygiene includes washing hands frequently so that the flu particles couldn't reach our eyes, nose, or mouth. It must be a strict habit to wash hands before having a meal as we touch the food that goes directly to the mouth. Maintaining hygiene is not simple as it seems. Many of us have a habit of touching our faces unintentionally, but we must realize that this habit can speed up the transmission of flu to our body.

  • As we all are aware of the usage of masks and sanitizers since the outbreak of the deadly CoronaVirus across the globe, we must realize the importance of covering our mouth and nose. Humans tend to ignore the significance of such cleanliness measures and do not take precautionary measures until it's too late. Make it a habit to cover the mouth and nose while sneezing/coughing. Another essential habit under personal hygiene is how we eat, i.e., we must not share our food plates with another person as it can lead to increased risk of transmission. Having separate bathing equipment and eating utensils are the basic habits that we need to focus on.

2. Diet

  • What we eat decides the level of our body's immunity. In the longer run, diet plays a vital role as certain food items help in strengthening the immune system and thus, preventing the transmission of the virus in our body.

  • Green vegetables must be added to the daily diet as they help in better functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D and Vitamin C have shown a significant number of health benefits and can help reduce the scope of influenza. These can be obtained via fruits and vegetables. Green tea is another very underrated thing, but we need to understand its several benefits for our immune system.

  • The way we eat is another topic of discussion which means that we must focus on both quantity as well as quality. Japan has the most significant number of maximum-aged people worldwide, and the study was conducted to determine the reason behind it. It was found that the primary reason for it is the way the maximum population of Japan eats. They believe that the person should eat in a way that the stomach gets filled up to 80% of its total capacity. Therefore, we must never overeat or try to fill our stomachs to their full limit.

Impact of Flu in India

3. Lifestyle Changes

  • To prevent diseases like influenza, we must make some significant changes in our daily lifestyle. It includes avoiding evils like alcohol and cigarette smoking. The people who smoke regularly are often a victim of respiratory diseases; therefore, catching flu is common among such people. Alcohol intake must be limited as it affects the body's dendritic cells, which further puts strain on the immune system.

  • Add at least one physical form of exercise to your daily routine. Be it cardio, gymnasium, or yoga, these activities help to promote the functioning of the respiratory system. It also supports the controlling of breath and makes way for a healthy immune system.

Word of Wisdom

  • The consequences of flu may range from mild to dangerous among different people. People of higher age groups are more prone to catch such viruses; therefore, it becomes our obligation to take preventive measures against flu or influenza. It will not only help you to stay safe from the virus of influenza, but you will also help in containing the spread of the disease by breaking its chain. For common flu cases, there are a large number of vaccinations available, which have proved to be highly successful.

  • Keep a regular check on yourself by taking up certain medical checkups at regular intervals and look after yourself as well as your loved ones. Also, we must know when we should consult the medical expert and seek professional health.

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